The main US stock indices fell slightly, as investors were skeptical of the report of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the United States may postpone the introduction of additional tariffs on Chinese goods, scheduled for December 15.
WSJ reported that negotiators in the United States and China are discussing the option of delaying another tariff increase, as both sides are trying to agree on the so-called first phase of the trade deal. The article also notes that the American negotiators asked Chinese officials to commit themselves to the volume of purchases of agricultural products in advance before proceeding to conclude a deal. Meanwhile, China wants its purchases of agricultural products to be proportional to the amount of canceled US tariffs. However, White House adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg that he could not confirm earlier reports of tariff deferrals.
The focus is also on the two-day Fed meeting on monetary policy. It is expected that following the meeting, the US central bank will decide to leave interest rates unchanged.
Market participants also analyzed data on the US labor market. According to a report by the Ministry of Labor, labor productivity outside the agricultural sector, which measures hourly productivity per employee, fell by 0.2% year on year in the 3rd quarter, which was the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2015. Earlier it was reported that productivity for the third quarter decreased by 0.3%. Productivity rose 2.5% in the second quarter. Economists had expected performance for the 3rd quarter to be revised to -0.1%. At the same time, labor costs per unit of output, the price of labor per unit of output increased by 2.5% in the third quarter. It was previously reported that they grew by 3.6%.
Most DOW components recorded a decrease (16 out of 30). Outsiders were shares of 3M Company (MMM; -1.29%). The biggest gainers were Chevron Corporation (CVX; + 0.63%).
Most S&P sectors completed trading in the red. The largest decline was shown by the conglomerate sector (-0.3%). The health sector grew the most (+ 0.4%).
At the time of closing:
Dow 27,882.27 -27.33 -0.10%
S&P 500 3,132.50 -3.46 -0.11%
Nasdaq 100 8,616.18 -5.64 -0.07%
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